tv [untitled] November 22, 2010 1:30am-2:00am EST
i said be as leaders lined up to try and join the new shortages in the shops which are being blamed on the member states are leaving the public less convinced about signing up. and central asia is dying giant what was once a thriving basin of fish and plant life i'll say is now exhaust as a ten to dust and disease of the decades of mismanagement. but up next os special report takes us to the pacific island of tara which is still coping with the legacy of one of world war two was the bloodiest battles. in the fall of one thousand nine hundred three america began a major campaign against the japanese defenses in the central pacific over thirty
five thousand u.s. marines and naval forces were assembled for an invasion. on nov twentieth america launched an unfair be assault against one of the most heavily fortified japanese islands in the world. tyrone. on board a higgins landing craft ensign leon cooper was responsible for the lives of hundreds of men. for the thousands of marines riding to the shores that morning no one could imagine the ferocity of the battle to come or the death and destruction that would soon face. in february of two thousand and eight the young cooper a navy veteran of the tower and a film crew left los angeles on a journey that took sixty five years. to.
be. on. while doing research for my recent book the war in the pacific of retrospect. i happened across a not so she had impressed a report that said in effect. where hundreds of marines died there are now millions of plastic bags crumpled paper boxes and when i saw that of course. since i had been a party to. our witness to all of the killings that took place i felt especially. in the need to do something about this. i was at home in my parents' apartment building in chicago i remember seoul well. that dramatic announcement. really shook me up as was practically all of
america including all the big shots and washington i magine a tiny country like japan. attacking. our pacific fleet and pearl harbor and indeed for all intents and purposes making america the giant a people mention. of the world all. night. oh. but you're not. and the only. am up for iraq was my brother and know of my brother said blame he was trying to decide whether to order me to get out of the country. or to find a safer occupation than being him but i am trying to. show it was his thought that
i should become an officer rather than i don't face. and of course i had all of the time i bought a good ole pay me officer training program called peace about it so either volunteered for it. within ninety days civilian leon cooper would become navy instantly on cooper and begin training as an in fifty years boat command. tara was a series of coral reef atolls in the gilbert island group strategically located halfway between the quien islands in the philippines. the coburg islands had been under the jurisdiction of the british government to december ninth one nine hundred forty one two days after the attack on pearl harbor japanese soldiers came ashore at the governing island atoll of tower one and proclaimed that for the emperor. both sides understood the incessant need to control islands across the sea. the
american commands tactical approach dated back to teddy roosevelt's assessment of world sea diplomacy devised for the late nineteenth century. roosevelt always believed that if the u.s. was to contain japanese expansion they would need to command strategic island bases across the pacific. the basic strategy first of all i tell you for scotland except for getting an odd he decided the best parts of expletives stakes are set up here calling him a shit and hosting a polling station plod are hispanic my mother must accept that looking for something specific to batman that it passed the fact. that. the japanese conscripted over forty one hundred korean slave laborers to build up a show's defenses as well as a small airstrip. they sent in over twenty six hundred cracked japanese imperial
marines to defender. massive fortifications were built including giant pill boxes some over seven hundred feet in height ten large eight inch gun emplacements field artillery and anti-aircraft guns. the war in the pacific was commanded by two key figures general douglas macarthur and admiral nimitz. after the japanese lost the battle for guadalcanal in the south pacific macarthur and his troops focused on recapturing new guinea nimitz handled the central pacific region and plans were drawn up to send forces against the japanese strongholds in the gilbert and marshall islands groups mark no one is a u.p.s. pilot in the world war two military historian he heads the nonprofit organization history flights they're working to locate the over seventy eight thousand missing
in action from the second world war right way saying here is a good deed to intelligence maps that the u.s. marine corps put together for what they called helen island which was the code name for a base you know atoll in the tar island region and they built this very complex math with all of the difference and information that they gleaned from a number of overflights from b. twenty four craft taking photographs of the island and it has pictures of all the different machine gun positions and the different types of large caliber weapons that would be used to shoot landing craft that has pictures of the tank traps the roads the airstrip. in june of one thousand nine hundred three american recognizance flights discover that base show had been transformed into a heavily defended outpost that now included a four thousand foot airstrip capable of supporting japanese bombers this dramatically extended their pacific sphere of office. after hearing this
news nimitz in the pacific fleet command decided to invade tower. upon his arrival at fiji leone was interviewed by reporters for a fiji sun article on his visit to the nation of care my job was to bring assault troops in and by boat. during many trips into the red beach. so. a three days of savage or a. top the japanese how to kill more americans. and taught us. how to kill more stupid thing. what the hell does that mean. leon's first official meeting with american authorities would be with deputy assistant to the u.s. ambassador in cuba ted may. first of all we're here to meet with the ambassador and
his staff ambassador. especially wanted to have. a speak with him before we want to travel he promised he would do his best to join us and taro and introduce us to. be president of. the country that includes terror and i leave my grammar's license by accident maybe get that i know there's no guarantee of. thanks to the ambassador in a staff again i feel very confident it will be on the road to achieving something even minimal objectives at least we'll get an action program going underway. with ted man a company leon boarded a jet for the highlight of his journey a return to tower. as the fortifications of base year were told the tower will continue the japanese
commander admiral sugar saki boasted to his troops that one million americans could not take the island in one hundred years. however american naval and marine forces would soon test that place on november twentieth one thousand nine hundred three the united states launched a major and furious offensive against our. a massive naval bombardment the place starting at dawn. by nine am this wave after wave of marines were launched from the ships the logistics of the battle took a bad turn. the tide is not as deep as what they had projected a project there would be about six to seven feet above the fringing reefs that they would land and there was a lot of confusion between the naval bombardment and they were supposed to cease fire and they were supposed to be an aviation detachment of a bomber aircraft and fighter aircraft to bomb the island and there was some confusion and they actually had
a cease fire there was about thirty minutes when there was no firing at all and it enabled the japanese to take a lot of their soldiers from the south side of the heavily defended part and move them up to the north side of the aisle. and in doing so they were able to bring considerable devastating fire on the marines as they entered the league in. the japanese a kind of defense strategy that covered every inch of the island from hundreds of marines were killed by the accurate mortar and heavy gunfire at the reefs edge many had to disembark offshore and slog through withering machine gun fire dangerous mines and deep bomb craters and hope to make it to shore. among the first waves of many heroes save the day one was a young lieutenant alexander bonnie who grow it is meant to push him and be on the pier to the sea wall. after sixty five years leon cooper finally returned to that fateful stretch of sand that had shaped his
destiny. ironically his first encounter at the airport would be descendants of his former adds. i'm i'm from the united states. well of course all bets are. off i was fair sixty five years ago. i was a member of the vote that i taxed as the japanese who are here defending this island . and we were not very finally starting to gather. we were wrangling toward each
other and a lot of people got killed including over four thousand of your of your your people are you here and i want to honor your country manhole what died in the battle of carolina. they all of a sudden i see things happening. and i feel like. i'm not really fair at all. the first item of business was for leon and ted to meet with the assistant to the president of cuba but in the hopes that they could access the president will the police release is the first in the. short list of what. this is but if you will to live with the person with the least two percent to the ministers despite the fact that because of what happened sixty five years guy had no desire whatsoever to return but after giving
a great deal of thought to the matter i felt i could do something that would be of benefit both to the citizens of your country as well as to honor the memory of all those guys. died and a war in a battle that really was the beginning point of the defeat of japan. i had a small part to play in that victory. and i'm glad i had the opportunity all that time i didn't think very much of my participation i wanted to be somewhere else. i know that's pretty short but their face i recognize her from here leon drove to the beach that had haunted him for many years and we know we came in from where we came and from here. i know damn well we. smell the stench of all those bodies running in the sun sills comes back to me.
all that stink of guys decomposing. and i came ashore about here. and i know why the bed the beach master as i remember cote motioned to me come on the shore and i was to go to the pier you see what sticking up there is the remains of the pier i came ashore about here between here and the pier and i crouched behind the sea well. and the chaps were shooting at me from up there some water. they were shooting at me from every angle there was you see they had this whole thing enfiladed and design sort of that all the approaching boats came in under murderous crossfire so there wasn't any wood getting them out of the line of fire they were shooting out from here from there and from there every goddam angle was covered and we own will and stumble right into all this. slaughter. by the end of
the day the marine second battalion was holding on to a seventy to three hundred foot stretch of sand and fifteen hundred of the five thousand american to be cheated with the dead who. i'm just. i can't stand to. look at to look at this sand here i couldn't get anywhere near the sand i was going up on the reef. there was a tank right about here half in the sharman tank. gone. we got stuck in the relief and i read all the guys on my boat i think i remember saying let's go i left boat and i said no because i knew these guys would have
drowned because we were over a hundred yards from sand and they would have gone with their have a packs not that this happened i don't know i think i did i think i said knowledge say in the boat they were trying to climb out of the boat while the japs were shooting i. had starboard and we found that access through the reef and that's when i landed these guys on the piece happened i don't know i don't know i think i did i think i did. however despite the heavy casualties for the disaster was. a coordinated japanese counterattack might have overrun the exhaust reeds but there was no communication with the japanese command bunker the japanese admiral in charge of shivah saki decided to move his headquarters from this area to the south part of the island and when they were doing that they went outside of their bunker and a five inch shell exploded right near them and killed them all and in doing that in
losing their tactical commander on the first day of the battle the japanese did not mount as counterattack in the night which potentially could have driven the marines right off the island. i've had my moment of. let's go take a look at those eight inch. the legacy of the battle is still scattered across the sands of bay sheo to this day the island is covered with the rusting remains of several of the big guns including the eight inch emplacements. tanks. heavily fortified pill boxes and the command post. the second day of the invasion was a precarious one for the americans although they had secured two small beaches the marines still had to fight inch by inch to the airfield that bisected the island.
after waiting nearly twenty hours in their boats the first battalion eighth marines attempted to land ashore almost half of them never made it to the beach a large number of the all the kids were knocked out of action in the first day and after that they had to use primarily higgens beds in the higgins boats were dropping the marines off at the fringing reef because they couldn't make it all the way up to the island and the marines had to go about seven hundred yards across a tidal flat and in doing so they were basically wading through waist deep water all along this area from red beach three to and one into the face of tremendous japanese fire. the battle had many own some heroes in the midst of the landings a young naval officer was on board a higgins boat in the horrible calmly rescuing routed marines from the water while several enemy machine gunners tried to knock him out that young lieutenant j.g. was eddie albert and he was a rising hollywood actor before in this thing in the navy he had starred in several
movies and would later headline television shows including the popular series green acres i was sitting out there with a bunch of moorings and one of them know who the fuck is that somebody asked me and i said i don't know let's say easel and they've a guy of some kind as that guy's been out there for the last fifteen twenty minutes of the japs are shooting at him and he's hauling guys out of the water i said this guy is either brave or stupid or both and but he kept doing it tony made several trips back each time with a boat load of white wonderbra one hundred marines going back to the transport ship for medical treatment with these guys. and he saved the lives of nearly seventy marines that. i got to know a number of the medical doctors we had eight desire a member board. and the senior medical officer of an old guy and i chance conversation i want to know what his specialty was he said that my gynecologist and
not seeing the may to be about as absurd as thing is i could imagine i said you know just possibly any one of us might be pregnant he says i'll take care of you. but there was another guy among the eight he also and a chance higher chance conversation i want to know what his specialty was he's a pathological by training and i said you're a natural for this you can be sure and take care of all of us so the medical doctors on my ship as well as on the number of other transports there took care of these guys i remarked remember distinctly on my many trips carrying the wounded back to my ship for medical treatment one of them died but how many others diag you can only guess but were these guys able to deal with trauma with war warnings i doubt it. despite the initial casualties at the beach if the
naval bombardments hope to turn the tide. to turn it alexander bonnie rallied his marine and singlehandedly launched a major assault on a large bunker filled with over one hundred fifty japanese defenders during the course of the skirmish he was mortally wounded. the marines finally worked their way in the end and began to push the japanese defenders back to the airfield. just behind the rusting giant eight inch guns that protected the shore leon was shocked by what he saw. i'm pointing to what seems to me the very symbol of every thing that represents a need and a reason for my trip you see we are surrounded by garbage everywhere but also there are. on this beach which of course is the most appropriate signification a symbol of everything that's wrong with our goddamn government allowing not only garbage but to accumulate where so many guys died.
see. sweet and clean. salty and fair use for. the radioactive and dangerous. and even dead and desolate. fail to keep their unique secrets and their bottoms unique lakes. on our team. culture is that so much could be a very much a if a lot of people a very are but drowning in debt levels in rich industrialized countries are truly
staggering for a long time to come there is plenty of financial. they faced it this is not a provocation but warned of. before to it and we shall see just everybody assured us of a quick victory speech they have no idea about the hardships to face. they wanted for this is a lot of them to loose and for any army to life never using them it is the most precious thing in the world. is of self-sacrifice and heroism with those who understand it fully but you have to live a. real life stories from world war two to six. thousand nine hundred forty five dollars r.t. dot com.
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